Last Thursday, Dr. Jeffrey S. Passel and Dr. Harold Stanley discussed the political impact of demographic changes in the U.S. Dr. Passel is a senior demographer at the Pew Research Center’s Hispanic Trends Project and is a specialist in immigrant populations in America. His focus is on undocumented immigration, the impact of the foreign-born, and the impact of welfare reform on immigrant populations. Dr. Harold Stanley, Associate Provost at SMU, focuses his research on Latino politics, and presidential elections.
The discussion involved the demographic influence of immigration: how it impacted politics, affected the U.S. population, and became a national issue. There was also a focus on how the Latino population growth played a part in U.S. immigration. According to Dr. Passel’s research, immigrants from Mexico and Latin America count for more than half of all immigrants in the United States. He also shared statistics of the rise and fall of immigration since the 1920s.
Currently in the United States, there has been a slow decline in the past five to six years. However, research shows that because of the increase in foreign-born children and the rapid growth of the dispersal of unauthorized immigrants in the U.S., the immigration population may escalate in the future.
Many professors and visitors attended this event and it was interesting to share in their attentiveness on the sensitive topic. This was the first discussion I attended as a Tower Center intern, and I learned that although the topic of immigration may be a complicated subject, it is now more in need of attention than ever before.
– Grace Lee, SMU Student and Tower Center Intern
Grace Lee is a Tower Center intern at the Tower Center of Political Studies department at SMU. She is a senior pursuing a degree in International Studies with a specialization in East Asia. After graduation, Grace hopes to attend graduate school in Washington D.C. and be involved in International Affairs.